In a series of nine letters, the narrator tells his friend how he introduced Vera Nikolayevna, a married woman who had been forbidden as a child to read fiction and poetry, to the intellectual pleasures of Goethe’s masterpiece. Opening up in front of Vera’s eyes is not only the realm of imagination, but also a world of unbridled feelings and tempestuous passions, which can only shatter the comfort and safety of her existence and force her to set off on a journey of spiritual awakening.
This lesser-known novella by one of the great masters of Russian literature, now available to English readers in Hugh Aplin’s lucid translation, is presented here with ‘Yakov Pasynkov’, another poignant story exploring the nature of love and human relations.
These tales highlight his masterful control of character and emotion.
These two translations of Ivan Turgenev’s earliest long fiction are a welcome sign of renewed interest in Russia’s least-appreciated great nineteenth-century novelist … In Yakov Pasynkov and Faust, Turgenev takes tragic irony in new directions.
Turgenev to me is the greatest writer there ever was.
Ivan Turgenev (1818–83) was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His masterpiece, Fathers and Children, is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.